Lachlan Edwards and Tom Hackett are two laid-back guys from Down Under trying to get a leg up in the New York Jets' punting competition.
The Australian-born players are squaring off this offseason for a job in the NFL after successful college careers in the United States.
"It's the Aussie showdown in New York City, I guess," Hackett said with a smile during Jets rookie minicamp.
Across town, the Giants have their own Australian punter in Brad Wing, who is from Melbourne, like Hackett. Australian punters are becoming increasingly more common in the NFL. The Jets had Ben Graham a few years ago, and Wing, Darren Bennett, Sav Rocca, Mat McBriar and Chris Bryan have all kicked in the league.
"The Jets got jealous," Hackett joked. "So, I guess they'll end up with one, too. Me or Lach will win the job and hopefully have a good year."
Edwards was a seventh-round pick of the Jets last weekend after playing three years at Sam Houston State, where he never had a kick blocked while establishing himself as one of college football's most powerful punters. Before New York drafted him, it had no punters on its roster after letting incumbent Ryan Quigley sign with Philadelphia as a free agent after three mostly inconsistent seasons.
"I just want to be the new guy," said Edwards, who's from Hastings, Australia. "I know the Jets have struggled recently with their punting, so I'd like to be that new guy coming in to fix that problem."
Jets coach Todd Bowles said the competition will "definitely" go into training camp.
"Obviously, you have two young guys that haven't done it in the league before," he said. "We will see what they do when they get under pressure and we get to rush a little bit and see if they can boom them out of there." >> Read more